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Fresh Skins and Hides

The most important work takes place after shooting a trophy. Proper field preparation is vital in the quality of the skins and hides.

Please ensure that the following procedure is followed:

• Do not drag the animal on the ground after it has been shot, as this results in unsightly scratches and scars.
• Do not leave it lying in the sun since heat speeds up the decaying process resulting in hair slip.
• Skin the animal as soon as possible as decomposing bacteria can damage the skin within as little as 6 hours after shooting.
• Skin the animal in accordance with the type of mount required.
• Remove all flesh and fat.
• Wash off all blood and dirt with cold water.
• Lay the skin out on a clean surface with the flesh side facing up. Immediately salt the flesh side of the skin with approximately ½ cm layer of salt (no.1 vee sout). Ensure that all areas are covered and that there are no folds in the skin preventing the salt from penetrating.
• Do not fold the skin, except for immediate transport to taxidermy, as the salt might fall off the skin.
• The skin must remain in salt for 3-5 days after which the skin should be dried.
• Dry the skin in open air or sunlight to ensure that it dehydrates as fast as possible.
• Before salting the skin (step 7) the skin can be soaked in a disinfectant-salt solution of 2kg salt to 5ml dettol to 10l water for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight. Ensure that the skin is immersed in this solution and continue with step 7 thereafter.

Emergency Procedure to salvage skins

Skins that have already dehydrated before salting will most likely suffer hair loss during further processing, as the salt has not penetrated the skin to preserve it. In such cases the following procedure should be followed immediately to try to salvage the skin.

• Remove all flesh and fat if possible.
• Wash off all blood and dirt with cold water.
• Soaked skins and hides in a disinfectant-salt solution of 2kg salt to 5ml dettol to 10l water for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight. Ensure that the skin is immersed in this solution.
• Lay the skin out on a clean surface with the flesh side facing up. Immediately salt the flesh side of the skin with approximately ½ cm layer of salt (no.1 vee sout). Ensure that all areas are covered and that there are no folds in the skin preventing the salt from penetrating.
• Deliver to Taxidermy immediately.
 

Skull, horns and tusks

• Skin the trophy according to the mount required.
• Cut off as much of the skin and meat from the skull as possible.
• DO NOT boil the skull, horns or tusks on the farm. (This makes the skull brittle when the Taxidermy has to boil them again.)
• DO NOT try to remove horns.
• DO NOT cut the skull, as this is often not done correctly.
• The skull can also be covered in salt till delivered to the taxidermist.